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Yids – Bringing People Together

3 min read
by The Fighting Cock

Having been brought up in the 1970s and 1980s in Hackney in east London, it was easy to get caught up in racism. Skinheads, Punks and rude boys were the main groups to become a part of and these all had their own set of beliefs that you had to support. I was a scrawny […]

Having been brought up in the 1970s and 1980s in Hackney in east London, it was easy to get caught up in racism.

Skinheads, Punks and rude boys were the main groups to become a part of and these all had their own set of beliefs that you had to support.

I was a scrawny short white boy and also painfully shy when I went to my secondary school. It was built over seven floors and there was around a thousand boys (no girls unfortunately) at this school and they were from all over the world. We had West Indians, Pakistanis, Indians, Africans, Irish, Scots and Cypriots all in the same class. And there was a scouser.

Each group however seemed to find themselves grouped together ethnically (much like an American prison community). Safety in numbers became the order of the day.

I found my way into the skinhead culture of the time where the love of Jamaican Ska music was only matched by the hatred of the people who created it.

I did all the things you’re supposed to do, Union Jack badges, red laces in your boots and the hanging around street corners looking aggressive to anyone different to you.

The truth is it gave me my first feeling of belonging, being part of something.

It didn’t seem wrong at the time, and my dad didn’t try and dissuade my views. The truth is he had deeper racist views that me, and a genuine feeling of being treated unjustly by his government in his own country because of immigrants.

In 1978 a couple of my school mates took me to White Hart Lane for my first game.
There I was in the cage in the shelf feet barely reaching the floor when the crowd was jumping, singing and swaying.

As I was jumping about just along from me was another boy from my school who I recognised. He too was giving it, singing and loving the atmosphere. As the game went on we started to talk and join in the songs together. After this game we became best mates and went on to travel all around the country to all home and away games. Together.

There’s nothing strange about this story really other than my mate was black and I was white. Without Tottenham we would never have met, and stayed stuck in our little isolated groups. And then very quickly we were no longer black or white, but we were Yids – the future of the Tottenham fan base.

The fact is football brought us together and gave us a common identity. It allowed me to meet one of the best friends a man could ever have. It also enabled me to realise that the colour of a man’s skin or his religion doesn’t make him my enemy or the cause of all my problems. Football showed me that we had common ground; we loved the same things we had nothing to fear from each other.

We have been at football matches where we have been abused as ‘dirty Yids’ and had the gas chamber noises made at us. The Tottenham fans took this prejudice and threw it back at them. We became the Yid Army, all in it together, standing up for the Jewish community who had and still do support our team. We wear that badge with pride, there is nothing wrong in being Jewish and the 36,000 people along side me agree. Your hissing sounds will not intimidate me as I have the rest of the Yid army by my side!

So here we are today with the Society of Black Lawyers claiming that we are racist… racist for standing up for our community against bigots?

As a twitter person I have people from all over follow me. Black white Asian Arabic Jewish Christian Muslim Male Female.

But we are all as one, one community we are Yids together.

[author name=”Lee Taylor” avatar=”https://twimg0-a.akamaihd.net/profile_images/2825217795/2891139da356c25ff8adfb98b94aac58.jpeg” twitter=”HackneytoPoole” tag=”LeeTaylor[/linequote]

All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.

15 Comments

  1. Wyart Lane
    09/11/2012 @ 8:27 pm

    Wise and beautifull words sums up exactlty how i feel as an london irish catholic and a proud yid

  2. Taco Muncher
    09/11/2012 @ 9:49 pm

    Great article. Honestly, that supporters of other teams want to censor us because of the behaviour of their own racist fans is beyond ironic. I’m not jewish myself but my wife is and many of my friends are loud and proud jewish yids. So Black Lawyer Society, Badiel, and co, please leave us alone and go find some real biggots to go after.

  3. Torontospur
    09/11/2012 @ 10:13 pm

    Badiel should cocentrate on sweeping his own side of the street!!!
    Clean up that tip of racist scum at Stamford Bridge.
    I grew up in N.17 and have been a proud member of the YID ARMY since 1969. PS i was barmitzvahed.
    Go do one BLS and all who want to jam their fake and unrealistic morals down peoples throats.
    The Yid Army chant is gavanizing and empowering and galaxie’s away from anti-semetism.
    COYS.

  4. spur1950
    09/11/2012 @ 10:25 pm

    Nice one lee ,funny this person has got what he wanted FREE publicity ? a typical lawyer one a nobody and one a fading very fast supposed comedian ,who happens to supports a racist club .,why doesn’t he stop supporting them if he has such strong beliefs???????????? i think not ! what does that say LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON FIRE .
    In the Lone Ranger Tonto said “he talked with forked tongue” about somes these 2 up and you also have the ginger tosser or should we call him”TEA BOY” who works on T*********T
    because i think we should boycott this show arsewipes show because with out tottenham his show is crap i never listen now
    Isnt a BLACK LAWYER SOCIETY RASCIST can we not ask for this group to be shut down????
    BACK IN the 70S we had the chavs,spammers ,arse ,LUFC and every northern team today not much has changed ,the chavs still have them and Baddiel HAS DONE NOTHING and all the other clubs still have them but not as much 40yrs on!!!!!!
    coys!!

  5. sup3rcj23
    09/11/2012 @ 10:30 pm

    Great article, i think there is a certain amount of irony in what these lawyers want to do. By trying to get the word yid banned will just make it more offensive when it is used. By using it in a positive way the word can evolve as language tends to do over time to mean unity in the face of prejudice and malice. As soon as you make it a forbidden word it becomes a much more effective word to offend (reverse psychology) and will enhance the problem not solve it.
    But you know these lawyers know everything as they have a much better view of the world upon their pedestals.

    I love aswell how David Baddiel says we have no right to use the word yid because we aren’t jewish. Does this not count as a form of discrimination? I can’t use a word because I don’t belong to a religious sect? But its ok for Jewish people to use the term? Does this mean the meaning changes when a non jew uses it?

    This issue is very similar to the Ricky Gervais mong controversy. It’s all about your perspective and how words have different meanings through the ages.

  6. nick spurs
    09/11/2012 @ 10:38 pm

    Nice article mate. Very pleased to be a non Jewish member of the Yid Army for many years. It appears we use a racist term ‘Yid’ although not in an offensive and descrimatory way. Does this Herbert chap not use a so called racist term ‘black’ in a non offensive way with no descriminative intent.

  7. hiddenagenda?
    09/11/2012 @ 11:19 pm

    his associates, see pics on his personal website, include certain J.Jackson (jesse, not Jonny) and Al Sharpton. a quick google of those 2 will show what they think of the jewish community.
    add to that his human rights work on behalf of nice guy shoe bomber richard reid.
    come on herbert, cards on the table please.

    • Flav
      10/11/2012 @ 1:03 pm

      Can you post a few links we’ll tweet them.

  8. John McClelland
    09/11/2012 @ 11:43 pm

    Loved your article. I am happy to say, and I often do ….that I am a Loud and Proud member of the Yid Army !
    John McClelland
    Chairman
    Spurs Canada

  9. JM
    10/11/2012 @ 3:15 am

    Your ignorance is devastating and frighteningly dangerous.
    To write on here how ‘proud’ you are to do this. Really?
    If in the 70’s, a football team that was deemed to have a largely black following were derided as the ‘Nig-Nogs’ or ‘Niggers’ by opposing fans during that deeply racist decade – and then the clubs own supporters decided to ‘own’ the name the way you believe you are doing with your pathetic imbecilic and excrutiatingly offensive ‘Yid’ chants – do you think that in the year 2012 it would be acceptable for those home fans to chant ‘Nigger Army’ by their predominantly white fans?
    Stop and think about that… A football stadium were 30,000 people were chanting ‘Nigger Nigger’. You think that’s right?

    If you offend once person you should stop. The fact that you are offending the MAJORITY of Jewish people in this country is repugnant.

    You are ignorant and repulsive and deserve prosecution if you persist!

    Yes. I am Jewish.

    • lee taylor
      11/11/2012 @ 6:06 pm

      Dear JM
      thanks for your comments, I am sorry that you don’t agree. The overwhelming feedback has been positive. In fact you are the only negative voice. I am grateful that you took the time to read the article you are more than welcome to your viewpoint this is after all a free country.

  10. Torontospur
    10/11/2012 @ 7:42 am

    Hello JM.
    You really need to calm down and go back to your office at BLS headquarters where you can pay homage to all the other over the top censors and Al Sharpton worshippers!
    Yes im a jew….it morons like you that need to calm down and actually pick up a proper cause to bang on about….PS what are you doing on the keyboard on a Saturday. :)
    COYS.

  11. Danny
    10/11/2012 @ 12:17 pm

    Great article Lee, which sums this debate up nicely!
    Shouldn’t their light be shinning on the vile racist’s that has have continually spouted disgusting abuse at spurs supporters of all ages for decades unnoticed by theses so called crusaders of liberty. Even the term Society for “Black” Lawyers is discriminatory in itself, should we start a new divide by setting up the white layers society, the Asian Lawyers society etc. I believe this is just a poor attempt by the SBL to raise their profile, they should take note that even the police have seen through this charade and said they will not prosecute any supporters who get behind the team with the chant. I also find it a bit ironic that celebrity Jewish Chelsea supporters can point the racist finger at Spurs, after standing in the shed and listening to the foul abuse that has regularly comes from a large section of their supporters.
    Their are plenty racial injustices going on in society, soon the media will move on and I suggest the SBL and some so called celebrities do the same!

  12. Victor
    10/11/2012 @ 3:39 pm

    Well said Lee and Danny. I don’t understand the guy of Black Lawyer Society should want to further aggravate the segregation of people. Just because of a few hotheads getting into fights during hot moments, that the situation be dragged further to more segregation. More Spanish, Russian, German, African, Chinese ete etc etc, and more segregation. In life, you win some, you lose some.

  13. krix
    12/11/2012 @ 3:57 pm

    You have hit the nail on the head.I have the same memories of standing on the shelf and the hissing noise from visiting West Ham and Chelsea supporters.We adopoted the term Yids as a sign of defiance and in defence of our Jewish support not as an insult.Ironic that both clubs now have Jewish ownership (Gold and Abramovich)

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